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Thread: transmitters

  1. #1
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    transmitters

    50 plus years ago, many tv station owers enjoyed adding transmitters to there stations. A good example is BCTV. Today that's not the case. The CBC and CTV are going the other way. 50 years ago each transmitter cost a lot of money. It wasn't cheep. Making programing 50 years ago was also not cheap.

    So today I don't understand why the networks say that it cost to much to add the new transmitters. It has always cost a lot of money. And local programing has also always cost a lot of money.

    So what makes the ower's from 50 years ago different from today.

    Any idea's. I think maybe todays ower's just don't have what it takes.

  2. #2
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    I can tell you exactly what changed, almost everyone went from watching programming OTA to cable and satellite.

    Yes it has always cost a lot of money to build transmitters, but 50 years ago everyone was watching TV OTA, if they didn't have OTA transmitters they didn't have any viewers, so when they spent the money on OTA transmitters they got a return on their investment. Now over 92% of viewers are watching with cable or satellite. So now not only does it still cost a lot of money, but unlike 50 years ago, they barely get any return on their investment.

    And it should be obvious that it costs more to produce local programming now than it did 50 years ago. If they spent the same amount now as they did back then they wouldn't have many viewers. Not to mention that they didn't have nearly as much competition back then as they do now. If the owners back then were still around today they would be facing the same challenges our broadcasters currently face.
    Last edited by TVViewer; 02-24-2011 at 06:18 PM.

  3. #3
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    What has changed is how people make money off of something as basic as a transmitter. 50 years ago they just paid for the transmitter and the land it sat on. Today they not only have to pay for the transmitter, they have to pay a yearly royalty on the stander (ATSC), the modulator (8VSB) and the audio/video codecs(MPEG2/MPEG4 and Dolby AC3). As well they have to pay to trasmit the video from the station to the transmitter via fibre optic(cost per MB) or C/Ku Band(twice the cost).
    "And Now for Something Completely Different..." - John Cleese (Monty Python).

  4. #4
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    Wow, I never new about all the costs involved. I guess youtube is the only way left for upstart local programing.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayhem View Post
    What has changed is how people make money off of something as basic as a transmitter. 50 years ago they just paid for the transmitter and the land it sat on. Today they not only have to pay for the transmitter, they have to pay a yearly royalty on the stander (ATSC), the modulator (8VSB) and the audio/video codecs(MPEG2/MPEG4 and Dolby AC3). As well they have to pay to trasmit the video from the station to the transmitter via fibre optic(cost per MB) or C/Ku Band(twice the cost).
    Not to forget TVGOS (TV Guide On Screen) royaltees to Rovi Corporation (Gemstar).

    Nowadays, it's cheaper for CTVgm and CanWest to control all their O&O stations from a central located on the other side of the country and feed the BDUs first, then the transmitter. Maintenance or something broken on the transmitter? They still can reach 92% of their viewers and sell advertisement.
    We had a good run: 2006 to 2020. Thanks for the informations and debates.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by InMontreal View Post
    Not to forget TVGOS (TV Guide On Screen) royaltees to Rovi Corporation (Gemstar).

    Nowadays, it's cheaper for CTVgm and CanWest to control all their O&O stations from a central located on the other side of the country and feed the BDUs first, then the transmitter. Maintenance or something broken on the transmitter? They still can reach 92% of their viewers and sell advertisement.
    You know what's sad about this...once they pay this off, and their going to pay off the transmitter upgrades overtime; Ultra HDTV(4320p) will officially come out to replace HDTV(1080p) and the ATSC stranded, so they'll have to do this all over again.
    "And Now for Something Completely Different..." - John Cleese (Monty Python).

  7. #7
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    Transmitter site became a problem as well.

    Montreal's highest point for radio/TV antennas is off course the Mont Royal (just like the CN Tower is ideal for Toronto), but the city decided to be greedy and increased taxes. Radio-Canada is the owner of the site and have no choice but to increase the rent to all broadcasters.

    For pre-transition and post-transition so far, Télé-Québec intend to stay at their current location at the top of the Stade Olympique, while V (TQS) does not intend to return on the Mont-Royal, but they'll need to find a site on the west side of the mountain to add another transmitter. CTV currently transmit from a Bell tower a mile away from the site. Unknown for the others.
    We had a good run: 2006 to 2020. Thanks for the informations and debates.

  8. #8
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    Reviving an old thread....

    Cable and satellite subscription became popular in Canada for the facts that you could get a clearer picture of your local or network stations and the US ones, plus you could get specialty stations that everyone was talking about. Problem? Call for a technician who will get to your home for free.

    Analog antenna works great for those who aren't interested in having more channels or not interested in paying a provider. Static, interference and ghost become a problem, fixing the antenna yourself requires an effort and paying a company to come fix it for you for something you get for free seems silly.

    Digital transmission fixes most of the picture-quality problems you can get on analog, and if it was up only to conglomerates greed, the 8% OTA viewers would be left in the dark.
    With only a CRTC requirement that you need an OTA transmitter to perform simsubs, conglomerates would have setup a ridiculously low 100 watts digital transmitter just so they could keep their end of the bargain.
    With a CRTC requirement that they need to keep, more or less the same coverage as their analog transmitter, this could help our population to adopt digital OTA.

    But will people get back to antenna for digital TV? All this depends on physical location, living conditions (bungalow, appartment), available channels available in that area (think SRC/CBC rebroadcasters in mandatory markets), antenna height and installation quality, and the willingness of the terrain/building owner to install antenna (interior or exterior) in the first place.

    Also, specialties are very-well part of our culture for sports, movies, lifestyles, hobbies, music, children programming and more, so it'll be difficult to say goodbye to cable/satellite and accept the few odd OTA replacements you can find. Some people gladly pay for the biggest package on cable or satellite as it's part of a luxury they can afford, like retirement.
    We had a good run: 2006 to 2020. Thanks for the informations and debates.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by InMontreal View Post
    Reviving an old thread....

    Cable and satellite subscription became popular in Canada for the facts that you could get a clearer picture of your local or network stations and the US ones, plus you could get specialty stations that everyone was talking about. Problem? Call for a technician who will get to your home for free.

    Analog antenna works great for those who aren't interested in having more channels or not interested in paying a provider. Static, interference and ghost become a problem, fixing the antenna yourself requires an effort and paying a company to come fix it for you for something you get for free seems silly.

    Digital transmission fixes most of the picture-quality problems you can get on analog, and if it was up only to conglomerates greed, the 8% OTA viewers would be left in the dark.
    With only a CRTC requirement that you need an OTA transmitter to perform simsubs, conglomerates would have setup a ridiculously low 100 watts digital transmitter just so they could keep their end of the bargain.
    With a CRTC requirement that they need to keep, more or less the same coverage as their analog transmitter, this could help our population to adopt digital OTA.

    But will people get back to antenna for digital TV? All this depends on physical location, living conditions (bungalow, appartment), available channels available in that area (think SRC/CBC rebroadcasters in mandatory markets), antenna height and installation quality, and the willingness of the terrain/building owner to install antenna (interior or exterior) in the first place.

    Also, specialties are very-well part of our culture for sports, movies, lifestyles, hobbies, music, children programming and more, so it'll be difficult to say goodbye to cable/satellite and accept the few odd OTA replacements you can find. Some people gladly pay for the biggest package on cable or satellite as it's part of a luxury they can afford, like retirement.
    There could be a renaissance of OTA channels, as you said, most of the reasons why people started switching over was because of specialties channels. But these days people can get the same programming through services like Netflix or torrents on the Internet making specialties channels loose the lust they once had.

    However if OTA is going to have a resurgence, it won't be via your TV. There are new digital television standers that allow OTA channels to be picked up via a mobile device like a iPad, iPhone, Blackberry or Android phone; in North America its ATSC-M/H and in Europe and Oceanic its DVB-H. With these you can pick up Free-to-air channels, but without the bunny ears to go with them. Although I should note that DVB-H would allow subsciption based channels via your carriers internet. As well DVB-H is slowly being supersede by a newer stander called DVB-SH, which in short is like Satellite Radio in terms of transmitting and subscription based; but for TV.
    "And Now for Something Completely Different..." - John Cleese (Monty Python).

  10. #10
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    As someone (I think) is the only person on this site who just gets channels via OTA if the channels don't want to provide atsc service to me that's fine - as mentioned there's the internet or, my choice, TV on DVD.

    However they will be loosing out on a market that I contend is larger than 8% since many use OTA in conjunction with a BDU which isn't referenced in that 92% number. Also buying $20 antenna is an easy sell to someone going just internet/netflix to get some channels to retain them at least as part of the market since more and more across North America are or are considering cutting the cord.

    True if you want sports cable is mostly required but that's starting to change - the NCAA sold their games online with US commercials to Canadians recently according to an article by Michael Geist and many of those US sub channels are really specialty channels themselves that are as good as many of our channels.

    If the industry wants to kill OTA I'd think twice if I was them - it may be their last line of defence one day soon.

  11. #11
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    I always had this great idea for a OTA Telvision network through the use of the ATSC multiplexing, but its something I doubt anyone would invest into. :(
    "And Now for Something Completely Different..." - John Cleese (Monty Python).

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayhem View Post
    I always had this great idea for a OTA Telvision network through the use of the ATSC multiplexing, but its something I doubt anyone would invest into. :(
    It's examples like that which makes me love the idea of dtv subchannels more.

    All these wacky small companies with (I assume) minimal investment are creating a new wave in creative television that we're missing out on here.

 

 

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